FDTC Coach McDonald wins 300th Stingers game
Florence-Darlington Technical College head baseball coach, Preston McDonald now has 302-career wins after the Tech Stingers swept Spartanburg Methodist over the weekend at Old Cormell Field.
McDonald is a native of Sumter, South Carolina, and he joined the Tech Stingers as the Recruiting Coordinator and Infield coach in 2008, before becoming the team’s head coach in April of 2009. At the time, 24-year-old McDonald was the youngest college head baseball coach in the NJCAA. Since then, McDonald has helped the team grow, and last year, the Tech Stingers made their first appearance in the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. McDonald has coached more than 30 NCAA DI baseball signees and more than 90 former Tech Stingers who have gone on to play baseball at four-year institutions.
“The number of wins I have in my coaching career is not something I focus on,” McDonald said. “However, reaching the milestone has allowed me to reflect on all of the players I've had the opportunity to coach here in the past and present. This is a testament to all of their hard work and dedication.”
On Saturday, the Tech Stingers beat Spartanburg Methodist 5-4 in the first game of the series after Michael Elijah hit a walk off two-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Dillon’s Josh Price won the game in relief. He pitched for an inning, striking out three batters and only allowing a hit.
Cross Holfert and Adam Spurlin both had two hits, including a homerun. Harrison Hawkins also added two hits.
In Game No. 2 on Saturday, the Tech Stingers won 12-5. Conner Campbell earned the win in relief. Campbell pitched for 3.2 innings as he struck out three batters and allowed three hits and two runs earned.
Rafi Vazquez was 2-2 with a homerun and five runs batted in. Gabe Austin was 2-3 with a homerun and three runs batted in. Dante Blakeney and Spurlin added a homerun each as well.
The Tech Stingers continued their winning ways on Sunday as they kicked off the day with a 14-5 victory over Spartanburg Methodist. Evan Odum threw a complete game on the mound to earn the victory. Odum struck out two batters, allowed seven hits and four runs earned.
Bishopville’s Harrison Hawkins was 3-4 with three runs batted in. Vazquez and Josh Gregory had two hits each.
Vazquez had a homerun. Latta’s Jackson Williams also knocked the ball over the fence for a homerun. Elijah and Spurlin had two runs batted in.
During the final game of the weekend on Sunday afternoon, the Tech Stingers won 5-4 as Williams hit a walk off single in the bottom of the 9th.
Once again, it was Price on the mound winning in relief. Price pitched two innings. He struck out a batter and allowed a hit.
Williams was 3-5 with a run batted in. Gregory had a triple that batted in three runs. Vazquez and Austin had two hits each.
“We battled back from 4-0, 4-0, 4-0, and 3-0 deficits in our four games this weekend,” McDonald said. “Our guys didn't panic, battled back, and found ways to win in each game against a very talented team.”
The Tech Stingers are now 29-10 overall. The team is sitting in first-place in Region 10 with a winning record of 10-2.
On Wednesday, April 4, the Tech Stingers will travel to play USC Sumter at 3 p.m. The team will play Region 10 rival, USC Lancaster at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8.